Board Relaxes Requirements for Extracurricular Activities

Times Staff Writer

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday to open a small loophole in its policy that excludes borderline students from participating in extracurricular activities.

Pressure from several students affected by the minimum-grade policy prompted both the revisions to that rule and the unusual special meeting at which the changes were passed, according to Sally Hoover, president of the Corona-Norco Unified School District's Board of Education.

The students, although they maintained grade point averages of C or better, were excluded from participation in junior high and high school activities for an academic quarter because they failed a single course.

Even if they completed the failed courses, explained schools Supt. Don Helms, the old policy left the students ineligible for athletic teams and other activities until the end of the next nine-week grading period.

The students--and some parents and teachers--asked the school board to amend the rule to allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis, and board members agreed that the issue merited speedy consideration, Hoover said. "We told Don (Helms) we wanted to have a special meeting, and we didn't want to put the students off."

Under the new policy, a committee that reviews each student's performance can reinstate extracurricular privileges after a two-week minimum probation, providing that the student demonstrates satisfactory progress to make up for the failing grade.

The policy change, which takes effect immediately, "may not affect any students; it may affect only two or three" this quarter, Helms said. In an average quarter, he estimated, up to half a dozen students in the district's six secondary schools may be affected by the rule change.

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